Sample Reading using the Jane Austen Tarot (temporarily unillustrated)

This reading is based on the January 2006 featured spread of the month, the New Year's Revolution Spread. When the Jane Austen Tarot Deck is completed, I will add the images.

Before I started doing this spread, I had several goals, and intended to make several resolutions. But then I decided to narrow it down to one, because I knew if I honored this resolution, it would involve revolutionary change on my part AND positively impact all the other areas of my life that I would like to see change in different ways.

My New Year's Revolution: I will be attentive to all of my physical needs and desires in 2006. This entails, but is not limited to, preparing for dietary changes that will make me feel physically better and creating and honoring a schedule that allows for shopping, cooking, exercise, meditation, baths, improving my physical surroundings, and any other things that improve my physical well-being. I will be more aware of my physical needs, desires, and surroundings and do my best to pay attention to them at all times, with my health and well-being being my number one priority in 2006.

Using the text of the Jane Austen Tarot (but also the image in the first card), I chose Temperance to represent my resolution/revolution.

For me, this card speaks to the necessity of combining the qualities of the two women represented (Jane Fairfax and Emma Woodhouse from the book Emma). Jane's forbearance, steady application of her gifts and talents, her awareness of physical realities, and her understanding that sacrifice for a higher goal is sometimes necessary can all be helpful to me, as can Emma's energy and willingness to see her own foibles and change accordingly. To remember the need for balance, always. Working with the divine (as seen in the image in the form of the angel). To integrate music and other things that give me pleasure as I focus on learning new ways and habits.  To stop living in my head and to stop using my intellect to fool myself (as Emma sometimes does) when I need to focus on my physical realities. To recognize and nurture my love of beauty, including going through my closets and getting rid of what makes me feel ugly or is no longer anything but serviceable.

Card One - What must I do to begin my New Year's Revolution?  The Fool

For me, this card held literal and symbolic suggestions. In this card, based on a scene in Pride and Prejudice, Lizzy walks to Netherfield to see her sister Jane, despite it being unconventional and difficult. I need to make time for my own walks, and set up the treadmill in my house when the weather is inclement. I need to take action--even if I am foolhardy and make mistakes, as Lizzy does later on, I can always fix them...but if I take no action, I lose. I may want to examine alternative and unconventional approaches to healing. Most importantly, I need to have faith in myself and my choices--and act accordingly.

Card Two - What will help me build a bridge from my present self to my desired revolution? Knight of Candlesticks (Wands) reversed

This card is based on the character of Henry Tilney in Northanger Abbey. Henry is idealistic and driven to do what is right, but he's never so impetuous that he charges before he knows he's going in the right direction. His pursuit of Catherine Morland takes time, but then he allows no obstacles to stop him from achieving what he wants. The reversal reminds me that revolutions take time, as did Henry's marriage to Catherine, and to be mindful of what is really important, as well as to not rush headlong into anything, but be willing to go step-by-step. If I try to dramatically and impetuously change everything, I will achieve nothing but embers of my hopes. I must remember that is a danger, but continue to stay spiritually strong and not be doused by any difficulties that come my way. Again, taking action is highlighted as something that will help me bring my revolution about.

Card Three - What blesses me in this revolution? The Nine of Candlesticks

The Nine of Candlesticks is taken from a more obscure Austen work--Lady Susan. In most decks, I consider this the "feel the fear and do it anyway" card, and the Jane Austen Tarot version is no exception. In this card, Frederica risks her mother's wrath by appealing to the one person her mother has not forbidden her to confide in. Because Frederica takes the risk (the action of writing and sending a letter asking for assistance), she is victorious in securing her freedom from marrying James Martin, a man she does not want. In addition, she reaps the unexpected blessing of marrying the man she loves, while foiling her evil mother's plans completely. I have to do things that aren't natural to me, that don't come easy to me. Most of all, the consistent theme of these three cards is taking action. Only then will my revolution be blessed.

Card Four - What blessings will come to others through my personal revolution? Lord of Quills (King of Swords)

This card is based on Pride and Prejudice's Fitzwilliam Darcy. By taking control of my life, I will be able to be more generous financially to others, as Darcy is to his tenants. I will also be able to write more and be more successful in that area, and I can hope that my being more prolific will ultimately be of benefit to others. Taking control of this area of my life is an essential one, and a form of mental mastery, something the Lord of Quills represents. I must be careful not to become too arrogant in my own beliefs, but be open to the words and thoughts of others, of course...

Card Five - What will make my personal revolution complete its turning? Seven of Teacups

I tend to live in a world of fantasy, something this card illustrates only too clearly. In the Jane Austen Tarot, the Seven of Teacups is based on Harriet Smith and her specifically-focused fantasy life. I need to be very careful to live in the real world, even as I tend to prefer the company of my thoughts and dreams. The reason I am able to ignore the calls of my body is because I live so much in my own head. A lot of time I am completely ignorant of what is going on around me in the "real world." While imagination is a good thing, it can be dangerous if I act in the physical world based on my daydreams. I need to harness my creativity and imagination and place it firmly in that world--and be consciously aware of the realities around me.

Reading and page 2006 Diane Wilkes